Association, Inc.

Wisconsin EMS Honor Guard

The death of an EMT/Paramedic may occur under a variety of circumstances. Based on the circumstances, the department should provide appropriate services from the planning of the funeral through the survivor follow-up process. To ensure all fallen EMS personnel are honored in a consistent manner, the department should adopt a policy on the types of services it will provide.

Line-of-duty: The death must be the result of a traumatic injury suffered in the line of duty (on a run or on scheduled duty), a cardiac event within 48 hours of a duty shift, illness proven to be attributed to the job by workers compensation (cardiac, stroke, mental illness or suicide).

Active Duty: A full-time or volunteer member of an emergency medical service agency serving in an active capacity, Non-job-related death: Deaths, natural and traumatic, that are not directly related to an emergency medical service call.

Inactive member: A retired or former member of an emergency medical service agency that passes for any reason.

Suggested Services:

The ultimate sacrifice of an EMS provider is a true Line of Duty Death (LODD), As such we reserve several services for those who die in the line of duty. The national standards are listed below, generally followed by EMS, Fire and Police Honor Guards in the United States.

Line of duty deathActive duty deathInactive
American Flag
American or EMS Flag
American Flag for military veterans only.
Badge shroud
Badge Shroud
Badge Shroud
Bell Service Last Page
Bell Service
Bell Service
Bag Pipers
Bag Piper
only if military
Bugle - TAPS
only if military
only if military
Casket/Door Guard, Uniformed members section, full-color guard.
Casket/Door Guard, Uniformed members section.
HG Member(s) present
EMS Vehicle caisson
Honor & Color Guard corridor of Honor of ALL uniformed personnel.
Honor Guard corridor of Honor of ALL uniformed personnel.
Pallbearers and Eulogy from dignitaries.
Eulogy from chief/director.

Station bunting/flag
Station bunting

Vehicle bunting
vehicle bunting

Procession of emergency vehicles

Pallbearers, Color Guard at the cemetery, graveside flag presentation.

21 Gun salute for Military Veterans only.

Color Guard at the cemetery.

21 Gun salute for veterans only.

21 Gun salute for Military Veterans only.


Levels of Service Available

It will be the policy of the Wisconsin EMS Honor Guard to attempt to send at least 1 representative to participate in a Non-Line of Duty Death funeral.

Once the Honor Guard has been notified of a request. Every attempt will be made to have a representative to attend.

However, we may not be able to full fill every request. Since we are a volunteer organization, we will not be ask our members to be taking time off from their jobs for a Non-Line of duty death.

A Non-Line of Duty Death is any individual who has died while not on duty. This includes all manners of death including suicides. This policy shall apply to both active and retired members of the EMS community. It is important to note that if an Active Duty EMS individual dies of a heart attack or some other specific medical issue within 24 hours of his or her shift, they may be entitled to a Line Of Duty Death Ceremony and possibly the family could be entitled to benefits.

Please follow the Line of Duty Death Policy for these situations. A determination will be made by the Honor Guard after being contacted.

In the event of a Non-LODD, the EMS Director/Chief/Coordinator should first contact the family and ask if they would appreciate a WI EMS Honor Guard performance. As much as you or your organization may want this, the Wisconsin EMS Honor Guard will only perform at the family’s request. So if they do. Please use the fatality notification page to contact us.

The Honor Guard will attempt to get someone to come and perform a limited performing ceremony. Limited Performing means that we will prior to the service beginning. Meet with the family or their representative, the minister and the funeral home representative. We will arrange to do a final bow and salute with the Director of the EMS Service and the Honor Guard Representative just prior to the service starting. We will at the end of the service arrange a corridor of Honor of ALL uniformed personnel attending. We will explain how this works with everyone on the day of the funeral.

We will not participate in any grave side service other than attending if possible to show our respect.

ALL Operation Managers/Directors must understand that a non-line of duty death is not handled the same way as a Line of Duty Death. And there are many reasons for this. The Wisconsin EMS Honor Guard follows the same guidelines as the Military does for these situations.

If travel is required. We would request that the EMS Service to whom the member is affiliated with provide a motel room if necessary. We also would ask for a donation to the Wisconsin EMS Honor Guard Association.